Rating agency downgrades six EU economies

Feb 14, 2012 12:00 AM

Moody’s Investors Service has lowered the debt ratings of six European countries over concerns with the eurozone’s ongoing debt crisis and also changed its outlook on Britain and France's ratings to “negative”.
The ratings agency cut the credit ratings of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Malta.

Moody's also warned its top ratings on three other countries -- Austria, France and the UK -- could be at risk.
"The uncertainty over the euro area's prospects for institutional reform of its fiscal and economic framework" was one of the factors in the decision, Moody's said.

Spain was downgraded to A3 from A1 with a negative outlook. Italy was also downgraded a notch to A3 with a negative outlook and Portugal was downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2 with a negative outlook, Moody’s said.
The company said Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia also received one-notch downgrades and still have negative outlooks.

The credit downgrades follow similar European rating cuts by Fitch and Standard & Poor's.

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